Ronak Ahmady Ahangar Professor S. Ahmad-zadeh English Poetry December 2012
A Tearful Lover An Essay on John Donne’s “A Valediction: of Weeping” INTRODUCTION John Donne, the famous metaphysical poet, was born in 1572 and was the son of a well-to-do London merchant and received Catholic teachings in childhood but after being denied two university degrees decided to convert to Protestantism in order to be able to excel in the highly Protestant society. According to Drabble he was later ordained as a priest of the Anglican church in 1615 and the dean of St. Paul‟s Cathedral in 1621, a post in which he remained for the rest of his life . His songs and sonnets were, according to Rangnes, written in the 1590‟s although they were printed as late as 1633. “A Valediction: on Weeping” is about a man asking permission from his beloved to cry in front of her because he is suffering by the fact that he soon has to leave her and go on a journey. As the poem develops the speaker also asks his beloved not to cry for him while he‟s gone because knowing that she is suffering in his absence makes him suffer greatly as well. The following is a more detailed description. ANALYSIS
In the first stanza of “A Valediction: of Weeping” the speaker is asking his beloved to let him cry while he is still with her because he is going to leave her soon and partake in a sea voyage. He claims that he can see her face in the tears that she produces from his eyes. He says: “thy face coins them”; meaning that the tears are much more precious now that they are shed for the sake of parting from her. It looks to him as if her face was stamped on each tear like that of a sovereign thus turning them into coins and giving them actual value in his mind because they are produced before her. The tears are falling down because of his immense grief and there is still more grief for him in this because as each tear falls her image in the teardrop falls as well so she gets more and more distanced from him...
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